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Virgin Media has launched a new 16Mb broadband speed boost add-on for customers with ADSL 8Mb broadband packages

Under the terms of the offer, all new customers will receive the '16Mb Broadband Boost' for free for an initial three-month period until January 6th 2008. After this point, they can continue to receive the upgrade for an additional monthly payment of £5. New customers must also pay a connection fee of £30.

The deal is also available to existing customers who are opting for the upgrade for the first time, with prices starting from £6 per month.

The ADSL broadband deals offered by Virgin are available in areas which are not covered by its fibre-optic network. The 16Mb service, however, only applies in areas where exchanges have been equipped to handle faster speeds.

Virgin has also warned that customers may be unable to receive the service if they are too far from their exchange and recommends that they check whether they are in range via the company’s website.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media told PC Pro: “We just want people to try it and give it a go. If the faster service is for them, they can pay to keep it going, but at least we know they've seen it."

He added that he expects the service to find favour with families looking for a temporary boost to their broadband speed over Christmas and other holidays with the fact that the offer is contract-free boosting the scope for it to be used in this way.

Alex Buttle, a director at Top 10 Broadband, welcomed the launch of the offer and predicted that the new 16MB offers will be "big sellers in 2009.”

He said: “Virgin Media’s announcement that it is looking to roll out super-fast broadband up to 16Mb via ADSL is fantastic news for consumers as coupled with their up-to-20Mb broadband deals on cable, they are now very much at the forefront of super-fast broadband technology and the go-to company for high-speed broadband wherever you are in the UK.”

The unveiling of the 16Mb Broadband Boost comes after rival internet service providers Eclipse, TalkTalk brought out 24Mb ADSL services. Meanwhile, Sky, Be, O2 and UKOnline all currently offer speeds of between 16Mb and 24Mb.

Virgin Media recently scooped the Top 10 Broadband award for best broadband bundle for its range of quad play offers which package broadband, digital TV, home phone and mobile phones services together. The company was also voted the UK’s Most Trusted ISP Brand by Readers Digest magazine.

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